This week the white house and the pentagon appear to be in full spin mode! First came the statements saying "Wait till September!". And now they are trying to downplay the September benchmarks and saying "... I need at least until November." from Lt. Gen. Raymond Odierno when he was asked about the September assessments. So let me get this straight. We had originally thought that by September we would see some improvement in Iraq at some measureable level so we all agreed on a set of benchmarks for that point in time. Now what they are trying to say is that we can't assess the benchmarks adequately at the September point in time. But instead we need more time to get the numbers together... Let's say... hmmm.. sometime in November? I wish I had used that one when the teachers asked for my term paper!
This assessment is simply a summary of where the country is in relation to the set of benchmarks that congress and the white house determined Iraq should be at by that point in time. As Jack Webb would have put it, "Just the Facts, Maam." We all could guess by this time that there are going to be some areas where we will be sorely lacking in the assessment. For example, the oil revenues being shared equally throughout the country. That is to be expected. But to have the spin doctors try to say that "we can't really assess things at this time so call us back next month" is beyond belief.
What is needed at this time is for the administration and the pentagon to be realistic about the situation and start telling us the truth about the current situation. Putting the president up to the podium at some Ohio Plant and spouting off about how great our boys are doing in Iraq is no longer working. The people of this country are not buying what he is selling any longer. If this administration would only be honest with congress about this war I believe we could get form a plan to resolve this situation. Some people may be out of a job, but the time this is over. But at least we will reach the light at the end of the tunnel a great deal faster.
Article - http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/07/20/congress.iraq.ap/index.html